Homelessness Data Dashboard | Salt Lake City | Utah

Today we want to focus on bringing your attention to a great new resource for the public in Utah. The Homelessness Data Dashboard is a great new site where everyone can get information about how well we are doing as a state to address homelessness.

We as the Pioneer Park Coalition hope this will lead to more transparency and data-driven decisions.

Homelessness Data Dashboard

The public can access the new Homelessness Data Dashboard by clicking on the link above, which will take you directly to the Utah.gov Department of Workforce Services page.

Here, users will find an easy-to-use console where one can choose different parameters to search for, such as:

dates
veteran status
age group
household type
project type
homeless services provider
etc.

As each new parameter is chosen, the report on the dashboard will update, displaying information such as:

The number of people accessing services
Year to Year trends
The number of people exiting the system
Percentile comparisons to the previous period
Overall people in the homelessness database
And more.

As an example, when I accessed the dashboard today, I selected the dates of January 1st, 2017-December 10th, 2017.

Under subpopulation, I selected “Salt Lake” for the COC, “All” for Veteran Status, “All” for Age Group, “Persons in Families” for Household Type.

Under Project & Provider, I selected “All” for Project Type and “The Road Home” for Provider.

Essentially, I wanted to take a snapshot of people in families experiencing homelessness anytime during 2017 who utilized The Road Home.

Here is what the dashboard looks like with those parameters:

Homelessness Data Dashboard for the State of Utah

I liked the way everything was very clear and concise. When I hover over different parts of the report, more information about what exactly I am seeing pops up.

From this report, I can deduce that 3,852 people in my subgroups accessed services from The Road Home in 2017, which is down 1% from the previous period (in my case, January-December 2016). I can also see that 1,928 people in my subgroup exited the system through The Road Home. This is down 34% over the previous period (or year, in our example).

I can quickly deduce from this that about the same number of people in my subgroup accessed services in 2017 as in 2016. However, far less people exited the system then they did in the previous year. I can also see that the majority of those exiting the system ended up in the “other” category…which basically means “we don’t know.” However, 32% ended up in permanent housing, which is always the goal.

We encourage the public to use this tool and hope that as transparency increases, accountability and interest will as well. We would love to hear any of your thoughts on this new system. Feel free to send your comments to us here.

 

How Can I Help the Homeless? | Pioneer Park Coalition | SLC Utah

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from members of the community is “How can I help the homeless? I know we aren’t supposed to give money to panhandlers, so what are some alternatives?”
Today we are going to spotlight a few organizations we feel do a great job reaching and helping those in the most need who find themselves experiencing homelessness.

How Can I Help the Homeless?

The Other Side Academy

One amazing organization helping those who have hit rock bottom is The Other Side Academy. Their website states,

“The Other Side Academy is a school where our students learn vocational, pro-social, and life skills so they can succeed on “the other side”.  It is a school where our students can learn marketing skills, business skills, and gain experience in various trades.

It is a school where our students learn how to make and keep promises and how to live life with integrity, accountability, and with love.  Our students will have the opportunity to working in our various vocational training schools, such as The Other Side Moversand Promise Land Food.

Our school is for men and women who have hit rock bottom, usually from a lifetime of addiction and criminal behavior, who now want to learn a better way to live. The Other Side Academy is available for these men and women pre- and post- sentencing and those within the jails and prisons within the state of Utah as well as those convicts, substance abusers, homeless and others who walk in off the street.”

The Other Side Academy to help the homeless in SLC Utah

So how can you help? The Other Side Academy offers many ways to help, from monetary and in-kind donations to volunteer opportunities. Another great way? Hire them! The Other Side Movers and the new Promised Land Food Truck are operated by Academy students and give them real world business experience as well as self-sufficiency. See all current opportunities here.

Families FirstFamilies First is an organization helping homeless families in Salt Lake City

Another great program here in Utah that helps many families who are trying to get back on their feet after experiencing homelessness is Families First. The program description from their website says,

“Families First is Utah’s premier intensive in-home intervention designed to teach parents skills to change the unwanted behaviors of their children, and to improve family functioning. Many of the referral’s we receive are from healthy families who are simply looking for better more effective ways to discipline their children and/or control behaviors.

The children in the families we serve often have a variety of behavioral and/or emotional problems. Some have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, some are struggling with school behaviors, some are simply ungovernable, and others are reacting poorly to dysfunctional environments.

Many families live at or below poverty level and are struggling to find jobs, housing, clothing, and food for their children, while others are successful in these endeavors. All of these families have the common desire to change behaviors, learn new ways of interacting, and to create more peace and harmony in their homes.”

There are many ways to help at Families First, and the parent organization Utah Youth Village. To see all opportunities, check out their site here.

Odyssey HouseOdyssey House is a non-profit helping addicts and homeless in SLC

As we well know, homelessness often goes hand in hand with addiction. Odyssey House provides drug treatment programs for those from all walks of life. Their treatment programs are consistently ranked as some of the highest in the nation and they are constantly working at expanding to be able to treat more individuals. They are all about people, not profit, and donations are greatly appreciated. To read more about the programs, donate, or see other ways to help, visit the site here.

First Step HouseFirst Step House answers the question "How can I help the homeless in SLC?"

Another great organization providing assistance to those experiencing homelessness, drug addiction, and other hardships is the First Step House. Their mission statement on their website reads,

“First Step House is a leading organization in the field of addiction recovery. We help people who are struggling with substance use and behavioral health disorders. We offer a range of services including residential treatment, outpatient treatment, long-term recovery management, transitional housing, case management, and evidence-based therapies. Our goal is to create an environment that fosters, supports, and enables long-term recovery.”

Want to help? First Step House provides many opportunities including monetary and in-kind donations and assistance with community fundraisers and events. To find out more check out ways to help here.

These are just a few of the many organizations that provide services to the homeless population of Salt Lake City. If you find yourself wondering “How can I help the homeless,” we hope you will consider donating or volunteering with one of these organizations. Knowing your money and time will be helping the individual as well as the community as a whole and seeing the change in action can be such a rewarding experience.

“Operation Rio Grande is Saving Lives” by Pamela Atkinson

Longtime homeless advocate Pamela Atkinson says, “Operation Rio Grande is saving lives.” We couldn’t agree more.

Read More:Pamela Atkinson says Operation Rio Grande is saving lives

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/26/pamela-atkinson-operation-rio-grande-is-saving-lives/

Operation Rio Grande Update

“We are in this for the long haul.”

Lawmakers and Law Enforcement provide an update to citizens on Operation Rio Grande

It’s a hot afternoon in the abandoned lower level of what was once Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Gateway Mall in the embattled Rio Grande neighborhood of downtown Salt Lake City. The room is filled with over 350 people, including many member of our Pioneer Park Coalition, anxiously awaiting an update on what has been dubbed “Operation Rio Grande,” a three-phase plan to eliminate lawlessness, assist the homeless, return the streets to a family friendly environment, and return businesses to a state of success.

Lawless activity, centered around the blatant drug trade, has plagued the area for years, with the Salt Lake City police department doing their best to combat the problem. Their best efforts, however, have been little more than a bandaid. Without a bigger plan, each “sweep” or “cleanup” of the area has lasted only a week or two before the bad guys moved right back in. Enter “Operation Rio Grande.”

Monday, August 14th, phase one of this 2+ year operation went into effect. Yesterday, August 15th, many member of our Pioneer Park Coalition joined residents, business owners, lawmakers, law enforcement, and other citizens to hear an update from those who have been in the thick of things, especially over the last 17 days. We were able to hear from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Speaker Greg Hughes, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, and Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires.

While each spoke individually about specifics to their department, the underlying themes were the same. First, they are in this for the long haul. They are committed. Second, this is an unprecedented operation with commitment and integration on the city, state, county, and private level, with bipartisanship and cooperation. Why do we not see this type of operation very often, they asked. Simple: It’s hard. But they are committed to the operation and bringing the Rio Grande area back. Bringing people, business, and safety back. Third, they need the public’s help. This is a transparent operation and only with help from the citizens of Salt Lake City and surrounding areas can this be a success.

After the individual comments, the panel addressed specific FAQ from members of the audience. We as the Pioneer Park Coalition were pleased with the quality and thoughtfulness of the questions as well as the answers provided. Transparency and honesty prevailed and we feel like this is an amazing first step to an operation that will benefit us all.

A few Operation Rio Grande FAQ and responses:

Q: What are the specifics of the three-phase plan?

A: The following graphic was provided and gives a great overview of the plan, which will move quickly. The first phase started Monday August 14th and phase two will begin Friday.

356295981-State-officials-Operation-Rio-Grande-Phases-1-3

Q: How can citizens report issues and/or perceived threats in their community?

A: For non-emergencies please call 799-3000. Use your camera on your phone. Take photos and send them to Salt Lake City police. As reports come in, a log is created, people are sent to those areas. In an emergency, of course, call 911.

Q: How will the physical clean-up of the Rio Grande area work?

A: A daily schedule of street-sweeping and cleanup will begin August 16th and continue indefinitely. As a “spidering” effect continues to move the homeless population to different areas and you feel cleanup is needed, please contact the SLC County Health Department.

Q: What is happening to the homeless people’s belongings if they’re arrested?

A: The Salt Lake Police Department is committed to treating every individual equally, including our homeless population. Items are inventoried and held until they can be returned to the owner. Additional personnel have been brought in to help with this task.

Q: What can individuals do to help?

A: Learn about the programs that are available and make donations to support these programs. Do not give to panhandlers, that is one of the biggest problems that we have.  It is now illegal to give (transact) with panhandlers in major thoroughfares. It doesn’t help people and is dangerous! Instead, give through and volunteer through SLCHOST.org.

Q: What are we doing to ensure the civil liberties of these people are protected.

A: ACLU associates are working closely with our government leaders. The Operation is very transparent. We are all working to ensure that those who are needing help are receiving the help they need and by not being forced to associate with those who are there for the wrong reasons.

Q: How has the homeless population responded to law enforcement being in the field?

A: As expected, responses have been mixed. Those with something to hide, who want to continue to live unlawfully without repercussions are obviously agitated. Others, those who have lived in fear and are victims of those who prey on the less fortunate, have expressed gratitude to law enforcement and others involved. The goal is that this gratitude will prevail and that we can feel that gratitude for years to come.

Q: What is the ongoing police presence going to be?

A: Once order is restored, we anticipated it will take much less much less man power to maintain the safety of the area.

Q: Employers have expressed concern as to how they can keep their employees safe as they come to work.

A: One of the greatest resources are the bicycle cops. Call 799-DNTN, and these police officers can address the concerns on a one on one basis.

The meeting ended with Mayor McAdams reiterating the end goal. This is a long haul operation. We must BREAK THE CYCLE! The criminals will serve their time and leave the jail with hope. Those who need treatment will receive it and leave without debilitating addiction. These people can regain their dignity, receive stable and affordable housing, obtain and retain jobs. And BREAK THE CYCLE. The homeless population is invited to come back to the area to receive services. It is safe for you here.

A huge thank you from us at PPC to all those who are sacrificing and working to make this dream a reality.

That is what this is all about, folks. We at the Pioneer Park Coalition are excited and committed to being a large part of the solution in Operation Rio Grande. Will you join us?

PPC August Membership Meeting with Mayor Ben McAdams

At the August PPC Membership meeting Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams presented a newly proposed action plan to reduce homelessness. PPC Technology Director, Sean Halls, also presents to the coalition regarding innovations in technology which could be applied to social services in America. To learn more about the Salt Lake County Process visit their site here.

Pioneer Park Choose Your Own Adventure

Wow! Quite a collection of stories in June from the press about The Pioneer Park & Downtown District. Do you guess that it is good or bad news?

Here’s a game to play called “Take Your Pick”.

It’s sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure for The Rio Grande District. It’s easy to play, just close your eyes and blindly click a link below and see where it takes you:


Tactical toilets produced locally could solve Salt Lake City’s potty problem
By CHRISTOPHER SMART | | The Salt Lake Tribune
Tuesday, Jun 8, 2016

Man arrested for assault of Salt Lake City police officer
BY HUNTER GEISEL – KUTV 2 Salt Lake City
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8th, 2016

Police investigate possible connection between Salt Lake City stabbings
BY HUNTER GEISEL – KUTV 2 Salt Lake City
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8th 2016

Salt Lake City Council Earmarks Over Half A Million Dollars For Downtown Homeless Problem
Funds will pay for more police, new transportable toilets
By RICK AARON | ABC 4 Utah
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SLC Council approves new money for portable potties, targeting homeless issues
BY DANIEL WOODRUFF TUESDAY – KUTV 2 Salt Lake City
Tuesday, JUNE 7th, 2016

Salt Lake City seeks public’s help in selecting new homeless shelter sites
By Katie McKellar | KSL News
Tuesday, Jun 7th, 2016

SLC Council looks to address human waste issue around Pioneer Park
By LAUREN STEINBRECHER – FOX 13 News
Monday, June 6, 2016

Cop Attacked, Bitten by Homeless Man
Randal Carlisle – ABC4 Utah
Sunday, June 5, 2016

Man Found Stabbed in Front of Closed Business
Randal Carlisle – ABC 4 Utah
Sunday, June 5, 2016

How leaders in rural Utah counties are trying to end the cycles of poverty
By Marjorie Cortez – Deseret News
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Some Salt Lake City Council members seeking potties on wheels downtown
By CHRISTOPHER SMART | The Salt Lake Tribune
Friday, Jun 3, 2016

Business owners near Pioneer Park say one area can’t carry full load of SLC’s homeless
POSTED 7:04 PM, JUNE 2, 2016, BY ZACH WHITNEY – FOX 13 News

Rio Grande stakeholders demand immediate action on crime, homelessness
By Katie McKellar – Deseret News
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Editorial: More homeless left behind by Utah’s economic boom
The Salt Lake Tribune
Saturday, May 14,2016

Homelessness rose 7% in Utah last year, even as economy grew
By LEE DAVIDSON | The Salt Lake Tribune
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Audit: State doing poor job tracking job training and education cases
By ROBERT GEHRKE | The Salt Lake Tribune
Wednesday, May 11 2016

Jay Evensen: Utah’s homeless problem still rages
By Jay Evensen – Deseret News
Thursday, April 28 2016 12:15 a.m. MDT

My view: Amidst Rio Grande shooting investigation, police should be commended
By Sean Halls – For the Deseret News
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jay Evensen: Police shooting shows how Rio Grande Street is out of control
By Jay Evensen – Deseret News
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Poll: Utahns Want to Move Homeless Shelters Away from Downtown Salt Lake City
By Bob Bernick for Utah Policy
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Utah says it won ‘war on homelessness’, but shelters tell a different story
Maria L La Ganga – The Guardian
Wednesday 27 April 2016 10.25 EDT

Homeless Shelter Systems and What They Don’t Tell You
Carey Fuller, Homeless mother – Huffington Post
October 27, 2011

PPC Mayoral Candidate Interview

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2nd, 2015

 

Pioneer Park Coalition Mayoral Candidate Interview

Salt Lake City &mdash The October Pioneer Park Coalition meeting will feature a ’ 1 on 1 ’ conversation with both Salt Lake City Mayoral Candidates, District 4 Council Candidates and the Coalition body.

Mayoral Candidates Ralph Becker and Jackie Biskupski, as well as District 4 City Council Candidates Derek Kitchen and Nate Salazar, are scheduled to take time independently of each other in front of the Coalition.

When: Wednesday, October 7th at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Senate Committee Room 210, Senate Building, Utah State Capitol

Coalition members and media are invited to attend.

We believe the leadership and vision of the Salt Lake City Mayor is absolutely critical in solving the complex issues confronting the Pioneer Park neighborhood including: increasing public safety, reducing crime, and decreasing street-level homelessness.

The Pioneer Park Coalition is a consortium of public, private, faith-based and non-profit sector stakeholders who want to improve the quality of life in the Pioneer Park Neighborhood by developing sustainable solutions.

Follow us on Twitter (@PPC_SLC) and ’’ us on Facebook for more updates on this event.

Headlines for October PPC Meeting

Business owners, community members ‘interview’ mayoral hopefuls on conditions in Pioneer Park area
By Marjorie Cortez – Deseret News
October 7th, 2015

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PPC Salt Lake Mayoral Debate 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 22, 2015

Contact: Jonathan Harman, Pioneer Park Coalition director

Cell phone: 801-631-1625

Email:Jonathan@thepioneerparkcoalition.org

 

Pioneer Park Coalition to host Salt Lake City mayoral debate

 

SALT LAKE CITY – Candidates for the 2015 Salt Lake City mayoral race have agreed to participate in a debate sponsored by the Pioneer Park Coalition on Wednesday, July 1st at 4:00 p.m. at KSL 5 TV Studios, located at 5 Triad Center (55 North 3rd West Salt Lake City, UT 84180-1109).

Doug Wright will moderate the debate among candidates Ralph Becker, Jackie Biskupski, George Chapman, Luke Garrott, and Dave Robinson.

Coalition members and media are invited to attend. You can request tickets by contacting Jonathan Harmon at the phone number or email listed above. The doors will open at 3:15 p.m. and close at 3:45 p.m.

For those who cannot attend, the debate will also broadcast live on KSL 5 TV and KSL Newsradio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM.

We believe the leadership of the Salt Lake City mayor is absolutely critical in solving the complex issues confronting the Pioneer Park neighborhood including: increasing public safety, reducing crime, and decreasing street-level homelessness.

The Pioneer Park Coalition is a consortium of public, private, faith-based and non-profit sector stakeholders who want to improve the quality of life in the Pioneer Park neighborhood by developing sustainable solutions.

Follow us on Twitter PPC_SLC and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates on this event.

Townhall Meeting with Dr Robert Marbut

Robert Marbut, a subject matter expert in homeless services, has helped dozens of communities across the US. First as a volunteer, then later as a San Antonio City Councilperson/Mayor-Pro-Tem and a homeless service agency President/CEO, Dr. Robert Marbut has worked on homeless issues for more than three decades.

We feel that an outside voice, someone separated from the politics of Salt Lake, could lend invaluable insight into the issues we face downtown. As the PPC gathered data, studied, and reviewed strategies to help homelessness and crime, we took time to find a subject matter expert. Dr. Marbut offered to visit Salt Lake and speak to the Coalition on his own time and money; his visit purely informational.

Please take time to watch the recording of the town hall meeting. A follow up meeting will be held on Friday, June 5th, 3:00PM at Spy Hop Productions- 511 W 200 S, SLC. The follow up meeting will also be recorded and posted online. For more information on Dr. Marbut click here.

Editorial: Homeless services need serious reform
By Salt Lake Tribune
Saturday, May 16th, 2015

How A Traveling Consultant Helps America Hide The Homeless
By Arthur Delaney
Monday, May 9th, 2015 – Huffington Post

Cities are Hiring this Controversial Homelessness Consultant
By Alex Stevens
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 – NextCity.org

$1 Million for permanent supportive housing in Utah

For Immediate Release

THURSDAY, MAY 7TH, 2015

The Governor’s Budget passed through the legislature, making The Pioneer Park Coalition successful in securing $1 million to reshape the face of homelessness in the State of Utah. Governor Herbert’s budget now allocates $1 million through the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund (OWHLF) to permanent supportive housing (PSH) efforts throughout the State of Utah.

As part of a plan to fundraise more than $8 million, this appropriation will help bring stability to hundreds of people’s lives by providing meaningful housing, thereby decreasing the numbers of persons on our streets. Since homelessness is an issue affecting our entire state, the OWHLF is the appropriate channel to maximize the PSH solution. Rather than relying on the local municipality who is hosting that individual to pay the bill, the state can alleviate the burden by allocating resources where they are needed most. This appropriation could serve more than 100 individuals in need throughout Utah and is one step in the process of housing.

This is not just about giving people housing; it’s about empowering the individual with responsibility. We must re-emphasize that success will not be defined solely by the number of individuals who are housed. Our success will be defined by the number of individuals who are housed that obtain identification, employment, continuing mental health treatment if necessary, and gain independency inside the community.

This effort could not happen without the many private partners, service providers, public entities and officials and residents that make up the Coalition. The Pioneer Park Coalition would like to thank Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Senator Christensen, Representative Paul Ray, Governor Gary Herbert and the community in its work towards sustainable solutions to crime and homelessness in our city. The Pioneer Park Coalition will continue to keep the community informed throughout this process.

For more information contact:

Jonathan Harman/Executive Director
jonathan@thepioneerparkcoalition.org

Dave Kelly/Public Relations Director
dave@thepioneerparkcoalition.org

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